Pack your plants for a long-distance move - SOS Moving Los Angeles
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Pack your plants for a long-distance move

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No matter what are the conditions of your relocation, moving long-distance is never an easy task. You have a lot of tasks on your moving checklist to complete. The bigger the distance you’re moving, the longer the list is. It can all become quite hectic if you’re not the only person moving. Adding your children or your pets to the entire moving process makes it all more complicated. However, they are not the only living beings that are moving with you. What about your plants? If you have a lot of greenery in your house and you want to bring it all with you, you’ll need to properly prepare them for transport. In order to pack your plants for a long-distance move, you should know a few things. That’s why we’re here to help you! Read on and learn the tips from the professionals.

What to do before preparing your plants for the move

First things first, let’s make a few things clear. As we all know, there are two main types of relocation – local relocation and long-distance relocation. Generally speaking, a local move is anything that is under 50 miles of your starting location. Anything over that would be considered either an intrastate move (within one state) or a long-distance/interstate move (moving to a different state). The price of these two types of relocations differ, and you should definitely discuss it in more detail with your movers. Another thing you should keep in mind is that if you are moving to a different state and it’s under 50 miles, the price of the relocation will likely be as any interstate move.

five potted plants on a table
Preparing your plants for the move is simple if you follow our few tips.

The reason we wanted to discuss this difference is that it’ll be important when moving your plants. Much like when you’re relocating with animals, you have got to know the state laws and regulations. Some states have specific rules when it comes to importing plants. They will either allow only indoor, potted plants or plants that are planted in a specific soil. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set a list of rules in place in order to prevent the spread of harmful insects or diseases. So, before you move to a new state, you should definitely check the regulations to make sure you’re doing everything correctly.

Starting to pack your plants for relocation

There is one more important fact you should know before you move your plants. It’s very unlikely that your professional southern California movers will allow your plants in their moving truck. Due to the lack of sunlight, water, and airflow, plants are on the list of things your movers will not move. Therefore, you can only transport them inside your personal vehicle. Now that you know this, you may reduce the number of plants you’re relocating. Perhaps you will decide to donate or gift the rest to your friends or family members.

Preparing your plants for the move takes a lot longer than you might think. First things first, are you keeping them in clay pots? If so, you might want to re-pot them before you relocate. Not only are clay pots heavy, but they can also break very easily during transport. That is why you should consider re-potting them in plastic ones a few weeks before the day you’ve booked your move for. The reason you have to do this very early on is that plants need some time to adjust to new soil. After you’ve done that, wrap the clay pots in the protective wrapping material and make sure they don’t break in the moving truck.

woman re-potting plants
It’s a good idea to re-pot your plants in plastic pots before you relocate.

Additional steps to do before you finalize packing

Don’t forget to check your plants for any bugs before you pack them. You can do this by placing a flea collar at the base of each pot, so they will attract any unwanted pests. In case you are moving to a different state that requires a thorough inspection, make sure to schedule this in advance. Call a local agricultural department and set an appointment. Once everything is finished, you will get the form that you need for relocating your plants across the state border. Keep them with you in case you need to show them to border patrol officers or anyone else that might ask for them. Last but not least, water your plants a day or two before your moving day. The soil doesn’t need to be wet, but it should remain moist.

How to properly pack your plants for transport

Here are some of the materials you’ll need to pack your greens for the move:

  • Plastic bags and ties
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble wrapping material
  • One sturdy moving box per pot
bag with soil and plants in the background to pack your plants
The soil for your plants should be moist during the move, but not soaking wet. Watering them a day or two before moving day is quite enough.

First things first, you want to wrap a plastic bag around the pot and tie it at the stem, so the soil is contained. If you don’t do this step correctly, some of the soil can spill during transport and that’s not something you want to have to clean up in your car. Then, you will tape the bottom of the box to make it sturdier, and then place the plant in the box. Fill the remaining place with newspaper and packing paper, to make sure the pot won’t move a lot during transport. Make a few holes in the box to allow airflow inside. In the end, label the box as “plant” or “fragile” so everyone else will know to take extra care when carrying it.

In the case where you can’t pack your plants for the long road ahead, you can always take a cutting and let it grow again at your new house. To do this, select a healthy part of the plant that’s at least 3 to 6 inches long. Keep it in a wet paper towel and keep it in plastic stem holders.

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